Maybe you heard about the shootings in Colorado Springs today. Four dead, including the shooter. They happened not too far from my hotel this morning. I didn’t hear about them till later this afternoon, after the Benedict Option event. The man who told me about them had been at my talk. His name is David Works. He went on to say that he appreciated what I had to say in my talk about how the church in America has no real idea how to deal with suffering, or how to talk about it, and how we need to do a much better job of it.
“You talked about the martyrs,” he said. “My two teenage daughters were martyrs.”
“What?” I said.
David Works is the man in this story from 2007:
Even though the Colorado shooter may have killed their two daughters, devout Christians David and Marie Works said Thursday morning their faith has helped them to forgive the gunman and find peace in knowing that Stephanie and Rachel Works are in heaven.
Appearing in an exclusive interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” David Works said the family was leaving New Life Church in Colorado Springs for burgers and shakes when he heard a “pop” and saw the gunman, Matthew Murray, making his way to the parking lot armed with an assault rifle.
“I screamed at everybody to get down, that there’s a shooter out there,” recalled the teenage sisters’ father.
Upon seeing his 16-year-old daughter Rachel fall to the pavement, Works said he tried to rush to her side but was stopped short by the gunman.
“I saw him again point the gun and, uh felt my belly rip, and fell to the pavement, not having gotten to Rachel all the way,” described Works in recounting the horror of their Dec. 14 encounter.
His wife, Marie, meanwhile, was trying to help the couple’s 18-year-old daughter Stephanie.
“I saw lots of blood coming out of her nose,” said Marie. “And I thought, she’s been hit in the head, that – and then I started to look for a pulse and I couldn’t find a pulse. And I was fairly sure that she was gone.”
He showed me a scar on his abdomen from where he took a bullet that day. The gunman, Matthew Murray, hated Christians:
“You christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray writes in his 452-word harangue. “I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill.
“Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”
After hearing his story, I asked David Works how on earth he found the strength to endure such suffering. He shrugged and said with a gentle smile, “I figure if a man can rise from the dead, anything is possible.”
David and Marie Works appeared on The 700 Club back in ’07 to talk about their grief as parents, and how their faith helped them bear the cross of their daughters being murdered by an anti-Christian maniac.
Heroes of the faith walk among us still. I met one this afternoon in Colorado Springs.